Jim Machi : Industry Insight
Jim Machi

Why E-Mail Sucks and How to Make it Smarter

Many of us live in email. I get hundreds per day and I need almost every message. I am also a source...

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The Contact Center's Seemingly Oxymoronic Play: How to Decrease Costs Yet Improve Customer Service

I was recently asked to talk to some of our many contact center customers about the new contact center trends.  It...

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The New Facet of Customer Experience Management - Field Service 2.0

By: Rhodo Odysseos, Product/Solution Marketing, Alcatel-Lucent, and Jess Verbruggen, Motive Integrated Marketing Assistant, Alcatel-Lucent

Traditionally, communications service providers (CSPs) have treated the field service aspect of their organization as a cost center. Field technicians engaged in maintenance activities were simply a part of the cost of doing business.  More recently, the communications industry in general and the field service arena in particular, has been disrupted by immense changes in the customer profile, service expectations, and behaviors.

Field service is often the only face of the company that a customer will ever see, so it’s not a surprise that CSPs are striving to make a positive impact on customers in this realm. Achieving full potential in field service saves CSPs a lot of time and money. Productivity and efficiency reviews targeted at field service operations, done correctly, can reinforce other areas of the business by increasing customer satisfaction and improving safety and quality. 

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Amazon Fire Phone Should be a Laptop

I’ve written a lot of headlines in my life but this one is among the oddest. Why on earth does a phone...

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Apple Pay Vs. Google Wallet

Replacing credit cards can likely only be done if the new system is dead-easy to use and it moreover has to be...

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Signaling Offers Great Differentiation for Mobile Value-Added Service Offerings

We’ve all heard that some Value Added Services (VAS) revenue such as Short Message Service (SMS) are starting to decline in...

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Birdstep Improves Wireless User Experience, Reduces Churn

A smartphone user can get tripped up easily when in motion as today’s smartphones look for WiFi networks to connect to and...

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VoLTE Versus WebRTC: I didn't know it was a battle

August 19, 2014

When I talk to customers, they often ask about how WebRTC compares to voice over LTE (VoLTE), and which technology “will win.” Those who believe that there has to be a concrete winner and loser in this debate say so because WebRTC is over-the-top content (OTT),while VoLTE is carrier supported.

I do not necessarily see it that way. In my opinion, WebRTC is a way for voice and  video to be integrated into communications applications. Sure, you can make a WebRTC point-to-point VoIP call, which technically would compete with a VoLTE call, but WebRTC really comes down to the apps.

Modems? In This Day and Age?

August 13, 2014

Not so many years ago, the only way to connect to the Internet was via a modem. You would use your digital or analog line, and literally place “calls” to the Internet. Nowadays, we either use Wi-Fi or some other type of broadband connection. But in the early days of the Internet, connecting through a modem was the only option.

Internet Telephony Expo: Still Relevant?

August 5, 2014

I’ve attended the ITExpo for many years, and lately I’ve been asking myself, “Is this event still relevant?” At one time, ITExpo stood for Internet Telephony Expo and well, long gone are the days when we need special conferences to learn about VoIP. This year’s event is taking place in Las Vegas next week, and while I like Vegas, do I really want to be there when it’s 112 degrees?

The answer is yes. Despite the heat, I’m looking forward to speaking at the ITExpo next week because I’m confident that it’s still a relevant event.

Mobile fax? Why do you need that?

July 29, 2014

Fax is an enduring technology. While you may think that fax is declining, some reports show that the market is actually increasing, especially in the areas of fax over IP (FoIP), fax service and computer-based faxing. In fact, the fax industry is predicted to grow to $2.795 million by 2018.

One new technology that’s taking off is mobile fax, which, as the name suggests, involves using your mobile phone as a fax machine.

When Does WebRTC Need a Media Server? Reason #7

July 22, 2014

Tsahi Levent-Levi’s white paper, “Seven Reasons for WebRTC Server-Side Processing,” details a variety of WebRTC-related scenarios that necessitate a media server. Last week, I wrote about reason number six: processing of the media stream. This week, I’ll discuss reason number seven, which deals with machine interaction.                                                 

When Does WebRTC Need a Media Server? Reason #6

July 15, 2014

In a recent blog about the current state of WebRTC, I mentioned that readers should check out an excellent white paper about seven situations in which WebRTC would need server-side media processing. Written by Tsahi Levent-Levi, a leading blogger at BlogGeek.me and WebRTC activist, the white paper gives a great overview and unique point of view about why media servers matter.

In the next few weeks, I will explore some of the seven reasons from Tsahi’s white paper. Today we’ll dive into reason number six: processing of the media stream.

The Top Five Tips for Transforming Your Legacy Switching Environment

July 8, 2014

Softswitches, once bastions of the “new” IP telecommunications environment, are now regarded as legacy equipment in some circles. Replacements to full IP multimedia system (IMS) environments are still in full swing, but that takes capital and operational expenditures (CAPEX and OPEX). Upgrading your old softswitch to a modern one can be a better way to go for many carriers. Why?

NFV and SDN: Diameter Signaling Controllers Join the Best of Both Worlds

July 1, 2014

 

In the Heavy Reading white paper, “Control Plane Orchestration: The Evolution of Service Innovation Attributes,” analyst Jim Hodges writes that the telecom industry has never before simultaneously experienced two foundational disruptive technology trends that are complementary. What is he talking about?

TADHack: Adding the Human Element to Communications

June 24, 2014

A few weeks ago, I attended a new developer show in Madrid called TADHack. It’s a smaller event and very different from the average conference. As soon as I walked into the venue, I noticed this weird green hue, kind of like I was in the Wizard of Oz. It had the feel of a nightclub, which was fitting since the developers were hacking late into the night.

TADHack is geared toward communications and voice developers, particularly over-the-top (OTT) communications app developers.

Wi-Fi Offload/Roaming Part 3: Diameter and LTE Interworking Is Crucial

June 17, 2014

In my last blog, I discussed the architectures needed to roam between Wi-Fi and 3G/4G networks. In order to enable interoperability between the different architectures, a mediation and interworking platform is required to support the different scenarios in which RADIUS, Diameter and SS7 are used.

RADIUS is critical for interworking with Wi-Fi networks. Authentication and authorization of roaming subscribers is performed through RADIUS messages over an inter-operator interface between the visited network provider and home service provider.

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